Now-a-days when people have protruding front teeth, a visit to the dentist starts a series
of trips to his office, the wearing of braces, and such a condition is fixed. But if this isn’t done, a person is said to have buck teeth. This is not always a derogatory comment, in fact, it is called “buck” because the male rabbit is a buck and he has them. He couldn’t chomp away on carrots without them. A beaver, exempt of them, would be unable to down the trees required for him to build dams.
I know readers of “Shirl and You” often wonder how I come up with a new subject to write about every week. Well, this one started with a trip to Sonestown, PA, on Rt. 220, on the way to Williamsport. We were headed for the town’s Harvest Festival. Sonestown once had a tannery and the Climax locomotive which transported people from there to Eagles Mere, a nearby resort area. It’s now a very small town, with one main street. During the Festival, at every home, a yard sale was being conducted, truly Americana at its best. Now, we’re getting to the reason why I’m writing this week’s “Shirl and You” and why it begins with sentences about buck teeth.
Somehow, at such events, my husband nearly always finds something of interest to buy. I’ll get to what that something is but first, you’ve got to know that at the same sale, was an item that caught our eye, but in no way was something we would buy. That something was a beaver that had paid a visit to a taxidermist, and looking quite natural in its setting. That did, however, revive our interest in beavers and returning home, we watched a video called, “Leave It To Beavers.”
He looked big to me, but the woman manning the sale said he was only medium size. They grow 30 to 51 inches in length and weigh 40 to 60 pounds. Their lifespan is up to 24 years, but they live only 5 to 10 years in the wild. Their tail may be 16 inches long and 5 to 7 inches wide. In the video, we watched as as one of them pushed mud, branches, etc, in place with their tail and warned
a huge moose to go away by splashing water on him. A person may become upset with a beaver that floods their property or chews on their aspens. But that’s what beavers do, they build dams. Beavers are second only to humans in their ability to manipulate and change their environment. Their dams can turn a desert into a flourishing, green area. Of course, they may decide that your private pond needs reconstructing and could soon have it overflowing. Years ago, that is actually what happened to us. It is open hunting season for beavers and sheared beaver fur makes beautiful coats. Animal fur hats were popular years ago, when people even slept in them and I read that men’s felt hats are made of sheared beaver fur.
There’s much more to be said about beavers, but I won’t keep you wondering any longer
what it was my husband bought at the yard sale. Maybe it was looking at the beaver’s tail that caused his interest in a razor strop. Now how often do you find these at a yard sale? A razor strop (or razor strap) is a flexible strip of leather or canvas used to straighten and polish the blade of a straight razor, a knife or a woodworking tool like a chisel. Being a craftsman, my husband enjoys keeping his tools sharp.
The strop has CCCP imprinted on it and the word Russia. I read where that means the strop has a Russian finish but never came
close to Russia. Knowing how to use a straight razor and how to keep it sharp on the strop is all demonstrated on the internet. Right now, “our strop” hangs on the corner of our brick fireplace. The leather looks tough and almost brand new and from what I could learn it probably was made in the 1950’s.
Could the beaver tail have influenced my husband’s buying? A beaver tail means more than what you are thinking. It sometimes is the name for a pistol grip, a pastry, sold throughout Canada, a state park in Rhode Island., a flatbed truck and a type of a snowshoe. I will say this, though, it looks like, and is a strap of leather.
To all you “eager beavers” out there, I hope you are enthusiastically reading this Shirl and You and will “work hard” to make me happy as you make a comment or two about this post. Click on the heading, scroll down to the bottom and type your comment in the box provided for it.
See you next week on “Shirl and You.”
P.S. When you make a trip to Sonestown, PA, Don’t miss their 120 ft. covered bridge. We missed it, so we will enjoy another trip there. Oh, and if you go, look for the beaver, too.